1. A lightweight umbrella stroller. You want one that folds up easily, but with two kids five and under it is a necessity. B has tried to convince me otherwise, but I have carried a 30 lb two year old through too many places.
2. A sturdy backpack. You want a backpack that can hold up well to being plopped around, and I like a variety of zippered pouches to hold and organize various items.
*Both of the items shown are a variation (but exactly the same brand) of products we own.
Items to pack in the backpack:
1. A second outfit for each of the boys; lightweight easy to fold up shirt and shorts. And one sweatshirt. Sometimes the museums get cold, but I rarely have found both boys (during the summer) needing a sweatshirt. Carry one in the older child’s size and they can swap it.
2. A small umbrella.
3. A wet/dry bag. I can tell several stories of little boys getting soaked by juice box or water fountain while out.
4. A hat for J.
5. A sunblock stick. I put heavy lotion sunblock lotion on the boys before we go out and then use a sunblock stick for touch ups. The one I linked is my favorite because it is creamy and easy to use (unlike some that feel like a glue stick).
6. A set of crayons, paper pad, and stickers for mealtimes. Also a pen…kids go nuts over being able to use a pen.
Other items to include in your backpack:
Metro Cards. My in-laws usually have several on hand, but the D.C. metro is very easy to navigate (with a map!). We usually get several cards and use them throughout the trip.
Gallon size ziploc bags. Because you are traveling with kids, and I was brought up that you should always have these with you. No exception.
Dramamine. If you aren’t used to traveling on a metro system, or you have terrible motion sickness (as I have and A is developing), you want to have it on hand.
Baby Wipes and Diapers for an entire day. When we go out, we usually leave early and get back right at the start of rush hour. You either leave before rush hour (around 3:30 headed out of the city), or you leave after (around 7). If not you are going to get stuck. And you do not want to be stuck with two hungry kids…which leads me to…
Snacks. I bring a variety, and I usually have a separate snack bag for each kid. This prevents the “he ate my last fruit snack,” discussion. No, “you, sir ate your last fruit snack”.
Lollipops and hand wipes. Lollipops for when they get really crazy. Hand wipes for the sticky mess of the lollipops.
Band-aids of various sizes and first aid cream.
Tissues. Because you should have tissues.
A bib. J refuses to wear a bib 99% of the time, but we can sneak it on if he has ice cream.
Good camera. B also always tries to convince me not to bring this, but he never wins. If I’m taking a trip, I’m taking my good camera.
A game plan for each day. This is the A-type side of me, and I like to have a plan of action before walking out the door with the boys. It’s also helpful because A usually asks about 100 times as we are going somewhere, where we are going, what we are doing, and what type of lunch/food stops we will be making.
And lastly, a bag of skittles. Because when the boys get really crazy, whiny, bored, hangry (that’s hungry + angry), it’s helpful to have skittles. For me. I need skittles. 🙂